It’s blistering hot in Cleveland right now — temperatures in the mid-nineties that feel like they exceed 100 degrees when you factor in the heat index. It’s hard to stay cool in weather like this, but I’m doing my best — stockpiling frozen novelties, mystery novels, and pop music.
Again and Again, the new album from Brilliant Colors, is perfect summer music: simple songs that carry you seamlessly from moment to moment. My tastes are, more often than not, easy to predict. I have a well-known soft spot for indie pop that features drums like heartbeats, hooky guitar lines, and simple vocals. I love albums that speak to the experience of people making music they love with people they care about — I know that sounds sentimental, but it’s true — and Again and Again is one of those albums.
I would be disingenuous if I implied that Again and Again breaks new ground — one of the things that draws me into loving this album so quickly and wholly is that it already sounds like it could be one of my favorite records. Listening to Again and Again is like discovering a lost favorite, each song has an undercurrent of familiarity that makes the album easy to love. While some might slight Again and Again for sounding so firmly entrenched in familiar sounds, I think that there’s something to be said for working so effectively and lovingly within indie pop’s sonic conventions.
There are certainly moments where Brilliant Colors are able to push beyond the tried and true sound that runs throughout Again and Again (the song “Back to the Tricks,” with its unexpected burst of riffing comes to mind as one of those moments as does the closing moment of “Hitting Traffic”) — and while Again and Again may not necessarily be breaking new indie pop ground, I think it certainly shows a stylistic progression for Brilliant Colors from 2009s Introducing.
Slumberland Records is offering a limited number of mail order copies on swirly pink and blue vinyl ($11 + shipping.) Each album comes with a digital download code. Again and Again is also available on CD ($9+shipping.) For those of you on Spotify, the album is available for streaming.
You can get more info on Brilliant Colors on their blog. For those of you who like what you hear on Again and Again, you may want to check out Introducing (available via Slumberland Records.) They also have a handful of singles still available on various labels, including a great split with Girls Names (also out on Slumberland.)